(CTN NEWS) – HONG KONG – On Sunday, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong said that the national security police prevented participants from participating in a much-anticipated protest that the organizer abruptly called off.
Police reportedly questioned four of the League of Social Democrats’ members on Friday and advised them not to take part in the march organized by the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association.
The National Security Police have threatened and impeded the League of Social Democrats from participating in a legitimate protest, and we are quite upset about this.
But under such pressure, it has chosen to abstain, the group stated.
Officers responded to The Associated Press’ email inquiry by stating that they always act “by the real situation and the law.”
Hong Kong Protests
The anticipated event would have been the first significant civil rights demonstration authorized by the police in three years and the first since removing key COVID-19 limitations, such as the requirement to wear a mask.
Major demonstrations were uncommon during the pandemic thanks to anti-virus measures.
Furthermore, several activists have been silenced or imprisoned due to China’s central government passing a comprehensive national security law in the wake of significant protests in 2019.
Without giving a reason, the women’s group said on Facebook on Saturday night that it had sadly decided to cancel the march that was scheduled to demand labor and women’s rights as well as gender equality.
Calls for comment were not immediately returned.
Acting Senior Superintendent Dennis Cheng stated in a news briefing that the organization informed them they would cancel the march after weighing the benefits and drawbacks. This was thirty minutes later.
When asked if the police had advised the protest organizer to call off the demonstration to spare Beijing any embarrassment at the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp legislature.
Cheng said the police supported the organizer’s choice and thought it struck a good balance. He declined to add more commentary.
Cheng advised the people against participating in the protest because certain violent groups wanted to join it. He didn’t say what the groups were.
Authorities warned anyone planning to gather on Sunday that they would be regarded as participating in an unauthorized assembly after the police letter of clearance for the protest was declared void.
Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang of Beijing declared that China had made new strides in resolving the Hong Kong issue and now had complete control over the southern metropolis.
According to critics, the freedoms granted to Hong Kong’s political, social, and financial institutions after the handover from the British in 1997, have been eroded by China.
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